Saturday, September 30, 2006

Snuggy : Everyone Loves A Snuggy Baby

Brand : Snuggy
Company: Godrej Consumer Products
Agency: Mudra

Brand Count : 131

Snuggy is India's first Diaper Brand. Launched in 1987 by Shogun Diapers Ltd, Snuggy was acquired by Godrej in 2003.
Indian diaper market is worth Rs 100 crore and growing at the rate of 10 %. The market is dominated by three players

Huggies from Kimberly Clark & Lever with a market share of 70%, Pampers of P&G with 20% and Godrej with Snuggy with around 10%. Even after 20 years of the introduction of this product category, the category is not being growing in line with the potential.
The main factors that inhibit the growth of this category are the Cultural factors and the price. Indians are not used to this product. This category is concentrated on urban market. Diapers when launched in India was priced at a premium which kept of the majority of the customers. When launched, the price for diapers for a pack of ten where any where between Rs 150 - 200 which was perceived to be pricey.
Diaper is competing with the traditional way of using Clothes which has the advantages of reuse,inexpensive and to a certain extent more healthier for the babies. Healthier in the sense, diapers used to cause rashes while clothes didn't. While Diapers has the advantages of convenience and cleanliness.
In India, unlike the west, parents tend to use Diaper on babies only during travel to minimise cost. Inside the house they use the traditional method since no one is bothered what the kids do inside a house.
In the last two years , the marketers have tried to reduce the price of diapers to induce more usage. The prices have come down to Rs 10 per piece. But still the market has not grown to the expectation. The reason is the simple economics. A diaper at best can be used on a kid for around 3 hrs ( that too is risky) that calls for 4 diapers per day and 6 if also used at night. That will cost an amount ranging from 40-60 per day working out to Rs 1200 to 2000 per month on diapers alone. That is totally unimaginable expense for a middle class family.
Hence in the Brand Report Card, the category scores very low in terms of value to the customer. Since the product is a use and throw kind, the customers try to use the product only during travel.
To reduce this price barrier, the marketers have come out with nappy pads that costs around Rs 5 per piece that is much more affordable but again the value factor is not justified, because one has to change nappy pads more often hence when the total cost is taken into consideration, diapers and nappy pads costs equal.
Diapers are usually imported from other countries and branded in India. This product category also face competition from cheaper imports .
Snuggy although is the pioneer in this category is dominant only in the south. With the distribution reach of Godrej, this brand has a good potential to increase its share in other markets also. Godrej has plans to extend the brand to other children's products.
The challenge for this brand is to expand the diaper market. For that the company may have to create a price disruption. I feel that the right price for Diaper to break into Indian consumers will be Rs 5. For nappy pads it is Rs 2. It is a tall order and with the current cost structure, it may not be possible.
But that is a challenge that companies should take if they want Indians to use this product more. The potential is high because of the changing psychographics of Indian consumer. With both the couples working and kids being sent to Playschool even at the age of 2, there is going to be a huge market waiting to be tapped.
Source :, agencyfaqs,dnaindia

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Kinetic Blaze : Shortcut To Fame ?

Brand : Kinetic Blaze
Company: Kinetic Motors
Agency: Grey Worldwide

Brand Count : 130

Kinetic Blaze is the new launch from the beleaguered kinetic motors. The company which pioneered the concept of gearless and self start scooters are now in crossroads. Kinetic after breaking up the JV with Honda faced tough competition for Honda which virtually wiped off Kinetic scooters from the market.

Kinetic was not able to produce any blockbuster products other than the most popular Kinetic Honda. The launches like K100 and Nova range bombed in the market. Honda while captured and redefined the entire scooter market with its Activa.
2006 saw the launch of Kinetic Blaze. Blaze is the 1st product from the much publicised seven vehicle Italiano series. These designs are bought from the world famous Italjet Moto. The designs are done personally by Leopoldo Tartarini, the head of Italjet Moto.

Blaze is so far the most powerful scooter in India. This 165 cc mean machine is huge and heavy. Blaze was all set to redefine the scooter market in India. So far so good....

Kinetic was clever in rightly identifying the problem. The brand had took a beating after Honda left.The brand equity suffered a hit after many new product failures.So the primary task for the company was to reposition and rejuvenate the brand and give it a contemporary look . For that Kinetic needed something that could be the talk of the town. So wisely it invested heavily in getting the best designers and conceived the seven series with emphasis on style and "machoness".
But all these efforts went into mud because the agency played spoil sport. The launch ads ( TVC) was nothing but a marketing disaster. The agency just killed the product. The ad talks about Rohit Varma.
We had enough of Digen Varma and Balbir Pasha. Then here comes Rohit Varma jumping from the tenth floor of the flat on a Kinetic blaze and a bunch of cracks(fans) cheering.I wonder how this guy managed to take this heavy thing all the way up. Then the baseline says " Short cut to Fame". It is one of the lausiest positioning statements ever.

The product is supposedly good; that is what most of the reviews say. The scooter is huge with the size of Pulsar and wheel base of a Bullet and weighing 135 kg. Hell this is a macho scooter that too with a mileage of around 50 kmpl ( under dream conditions), and look at what the agency has done. No positioning and no creative thoughts only bull shit.The brand had lots to talk about. It was male, powerful, stylish and safe. The TG could have been those who wanted a powerful city rider.Here much more rational communication was needed instead of hyperbole.

With a price tag of Rs.50000, this brand is going to compete with none other than Pulsar. The question is will you opt for a Blaze or a Pulsar? Hence the success of this brand will be heavily dependant on the way the company position the brand. No other bikes have so far being able to dethrone Pulsar , so does Blaze have a chance? With this stupid positioning, I will say No chance.
Blaze was the right vehicle for rejuvenating Kinetic Brand. It could have been a Pulsar for Kinetic had it marketed it right. Pulsar captured the attention of TG with its Definitely Male campaign. But what about Blaze ?
Blaze if positioned properly at best would have been a niche product. The brand would have appealed to people who did not like Bikes. But the current positioning dampens every chance of its success.
Kinetic have to realise that there are no shortcuts to fame.
Source : Businessline,, autocarindia, agencyfaqs,

Monday, September 25, 2006

Charagh Din : CD Rocks

Brand : Charagh Din
Company: Charagh Din
Agency: Network Advertising

Brand Count : 129

Charagh Din Shirts otherwise popularly known as CD Shirts is a unique brand. CD shirts are known as the only One store readymade brand in India. The brand is available in its showroom in Mumbai and nowhere else. The CD showroom in Mumbai is considered as the largest shirt store in the world.

Charagh Din was originally New Lord & Co came into existence in 1947. Two years later this small tailoring company was bought over by the enterprising Mr Arjan Daswani which converted this shop into a wonderful brand. CD has grown from a 800 sqft shop to 100,000 sqft shop because of the owner's never ending passion for quality and marketing excellence.
The brand's fame began to spread from Mumbai to other parts of the country and CD began to figure in the shopping list of those who travel to Mumbai. I have friends who buys 10 shirts when they visit Mumbai and wears only CD shirts.
CD shirt was built on three basic qualities
a. Sophistication
b. Good Taste
c. Special Identity.
The brand was earlier known as the " Shirt that Fits". The word of mouth spread fast with the increasing list of Who is Who began wearing this brand. More over CD was the first branded party wear shirt in India. The brand never failed to experiment with design and it gave the brand a contemporary look even after 60 years of existence.
For every successful brand the challenge comes when the brand begins to expand. CD does not want its USP of one store brand to be diluted by opening multi-location stores. Hence the brand embraced the net to expand the volume. In 2001, the brand was available online. The owners feel that the net will take care of the reach while the brand could be built through the media.

Recently the company have started aggressive promotion for this brand. The baseline of the brand has been changed to " CD Rocks". The ad features Czech models partying in a typical party locale. The ad is poorly made and does not convey any tangible value of the brand. The aim of the campaign was to project CD as a party shirt to the target segment of urban youth . But the execution and the models was a flop ( my opinion).
Dr Keller's Brand Report Card for Charagh Din
Delivering on Customer's Desires: Positive since the brand has been maintaining its quality and design excellence. The product is put through rigorous quality checks and the company makes sure that the new designs are launched every month.
Relevance: The brand still has relevance in today's market. There is still a need for a brand which is young and vibrant
Value: CD shirts are priced quite reasonably and this makes the deal more attractive
Positioning: The brand has made a change in its positioning which I think is a negative factor. The new campaign have failed to convey any values or strength of the brand.
Integrated Marketing Activities: The brand has not fully integrated its activities on the web. Since this brand has an online store, no aggressive online promotions are seen. I haven't yet received a single e-mail from the company promoting its range.
Charagh Din is a brand that has immense potential. It has the heritage, quality, Share of Mind, brand equity and the uniqueness. But the company seems to have forgotten its strengths. The brand is wise to have retained its uniqueness of one store brand by using web as the alternative channel. But still it has not fully harnessed the power of web as a media for brand building.I hope that in the quest to capture the mind of the urban Yuppie, the brand does not dilute the equity that was built over time.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Hero Honda Street : RIP

Brand : Street
Company : Hero Honda

Brand Count : 128

Hero Honda Street was the first venture of Hero Honda to the the scooter category. Street is not a scooter but a step through bike. The product category lies between a Scooterette and Scooter. Street launched in 1997 died a slow and quiet death.

The product was launched as a step thru bike was not entirely new product category. There was a step thru bike running in the Indian roads named Bajaj M80. Street wanted to create a market for itself or perhaps a new category. But the product failed because it was haunted by M80.

Street was the Indian version of the world famous Honda Cub series of stepthrus. Honda Cub was the world's largest selling single model bike which has sold more than 2.5 crore units. But how come such a product fail in India.
The case is about marketing mistake.The product failed in all aspects of marketing mix except the distribution.
The product was not good enough. It looked like a glorified M80 which was used by Fish vendors and the like. M80 was the cheapest and rugged step thru from Bajaj aimed mainly at the vendors who had bought this product not for its looks but for the price and utility. Since Street exactly looked like M80, it put off all the urban buyers.
The brand was priced extremely high. Hero Honda thought that because of the success of its bikes, they can charge the Street a premium but this price around 30% higher than M80 failed to show value to the customers.
The campaign was also not successful. The initial campaign tried to teach the customers the new Clutch less gear system and its efficacy, the customers was not impressed with this feature. Infact this gear system is famous elsewhere in the world but in India it did not click.
I wonder why Hero Honda ventured into bringing this model to India fully knowing that an exact replica is selling here that too at a lower price and quality ? It is plain arrogance or myopia trying to sell such a product with out any design change. Hero Honda thought that the brand name Honda will differentiate the product but it didn't happen. More over the product did not offer any value proposition to the customer except that it has a unique gear system.
The brand was also not sure about the target segment ,whether it aims at the gender or any specific category. Kick start mode eliminated the entry chance to the Ladies category and the lack of styling repelled the guys.
Brand Report Card for Street ( Dr Kevin Lane Keller)
Delivering on Customer's desires : Negative . The brand failed to understand the need for the customer in the aspect of design of the vehicle.
Relevance : The category had some relevance since the customers were looking for a powerful scooterette. Most of the mobikes were sub 60 cc. But the brand failed to capitalise on this opportunity.
Value: Negative. The high price of the brand did not offer any value proposition to the customer. Although the product was of high quality
Positioning : Negative. The brand was not positioned on any sustainable and important feature. This prevented the effective communication of value to the customer. This was one of the major cause of this brand's failure. Besides the Points of Parity with M80 created problems for the brand. The owners failed to foresee this problem.
Integrated Marketing Activities: Since the problem was with the basic design of the product, there was not much the other activities could do. The marketing activities was bound to fail.

Street could have been a success if it had changed its design. Indian consumers are very discerning and value conscious. This brand failed to understand that.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Hidesign : Truly International

Brand : Hidesign
Company: Hidesign

Brand Count : 127

Hidesign is a brand that is truly an international brand that is made in India. Born in 1978 as a one man craftsman workshop, this brand has gone places.

Hidesign is India's premier leather goods company that makes leather bags, briefcases and wallets. This 90 crore brand is the Indian brand that features in the premium international stores worldwide. The Indian leather market is expected to be around Rs 1000 crore and the branded market is around 120 crore.
Hidesign is a brand that was built overtime through careful brand building . The brand which was launched as an export brand came to India and surprised to find the reception it had, despite astronomical prices. The brand came to India at the right time when the Indian consumers are splurging on lifestyle products.

Hidesign is targeting the upwardly mobile educated internationally minded executive. The brand is known for its craftsmanship and the quality of its products. All these years this brand has never compromised on quality. The main USP of this brand is its craftsmanship. The brand still uses the traditional craftsmanship and 70% of the work is by hand. The brand depends heavily on the craftsmanship. The core value of the brand is its attitude, tradition and its commitment to environment. Instead of using the much polluting dyes, the brand uses vegetable dyes .
The brand is positioned along the core values and the craftsmanship. The campaigns are trendy and the media is mainly magazines. Earlier in 2000 the brand initially was projecting quality as its major focal point. Now they have realised that despite the positive feelings, the brand lacks the attitude and emotional attachment . Hence the brand is on a campaign to connect to the customer emotionally.
In the premium segment , the brand does not have any domestic brand competition.The competition is from the Italian brands that are available in the upmarket stores. The entire category is dominated by the unbranded players and there is little efforts to brand the products.

The Brand Report Card (Dr.Kevin Lane Keller) for Hidesign
Delivering On Customer's desire: The brand has been able to identify and satisfy the customer's desires. The customers were in need of a brand that can offer them quality and looks which was lacking in the unbranded products.
Relevance: The brand is relevant to customer because of the change in the lifestyle of the upwardly mobile Indians
Value: Although the brand is priced astronomically , the target group is finding value in this product. But with these prices the brand is out of reach to most Indians.
Positioning: The brand rightfully identified its core value and the positioning is in line with the strength of the brand . The choice of the media and the copy of the campaign also reflects the positioning.
Portfolio: The brand has wide range of models and is seriously looking into expanding to different segments with in the category. The company is planning to introduce bags for the college going under a separate brand name.
Integrated Marketing Activities: The brand has been using its stores and all the marketing mixes carefully in promoting the brand
Management: The brand has been built over time and the management has been careful in building the core values of the brand
Support: There has been lot of support for the brand building efforts . The company has been spending the money wisely and carefully.
Marketing: The overall marketing activities has been perfect and has helped the company to create a world class brand.
Hidesign is truly international brand. It is a showcase of Indian marketing acumen and proves that Indians can make a world class brand.
source: agencyfaqs,,businessline.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Eyetex : Eye On The Next Generation

Brand : Eyetex
Company: Aravind Laboratories

Brand Count : 126

Eyetex is one of India's oldest Kajal. Kajal is the traditional form of eyeliners. It is a Collyrium manufactured traditionally using natural ingredients. Eyetex was started in 1938 by Mr Srivasudevan and in 1958, the company was taken over by Mr. AV Srinivasan.
Eyetex brand is one of the largest selling Kanmaye or Kajal in India. The brand is a small player in the Rs 2.2 Billion Indian cosmetic industry. The brand is facing competition from established players like Lakme , Revlon and other international brands and is facing with the problem of the product relevance in the changing Indian psychographics.
The tradition of applying Kajal to the eyes dates back to centuries .Even mythology have references of this product. Traditionally grandmothers used to apply kajal to the infants to prevent eye ailments. Ladies used to apply kajal using the fingers and the Kajal used to give a smokey appearance to the eyes.

Eyetex have been considered as a trusted brand in this segment. The brand although not much advertised, had immense positive word of mouth publicity and the through generations this brand has been passed on.
The brand is now facing the threat from the changing lifestyle of its TG. I am not sure whether the younger generation uses Kajals these days. The place of Kajal has been taken over by the modern Eyeliners. With international brands having the full range of these products that too in different colors and features, the survival of the traditional Kajal is at stake.
Eyetex is positioned as a trusted brand that is prepared from natural oils . With little or no promotions, the brand has a huge recall among the Indian ladies but with the new generations, Eyetex is not much popular.
Eyetex too has tried to change with times. From the traditional round shaped pack, it had metamorphosed to user friendly stick and eyeliners also. But the brand did not change with time. Eyetex is still banking on the trust and the equity of its customers who are fast becoming old. When there is a Revelon or Lakme eyeliner will the new generation pick Eyetex?

Compared to modern eyeliners, Kajal can be messy and there is a chance of the kajal spreading unevenly or smudge. With the modern eyeliners offering waterproof eyeliners and with different colors ( may be) and innovative extensions like Loreal Voluminous Mascara, Eyetex suddenly may find irrelevant for the modern consumer.
The silver lining is that for the ordinary Indian women who may not have graduated to eyeliners and mascaras, Eyetex brand is still relevant and the price so affordable. Eyetex may have missed the urban kid but the core segment may be still there. I am also not sure whether the urban girls bother about putting kajal everyday. In this era of fast life, these products are used only on occasions.
Eyetex has also taken a bold step to enter into color cosmetics with the brand Dazzler.Eyetex here is going to compete with the " Who is Who" of the global cosmetic industry. I am not sure whether Dazzler will be able to leverage the equity of Eyetex. Eyetex could have consolidated its position by introducing water proof eyeliners and modern " eye beauty care" solutions rather than venturing into categories that are too tough to crack.
The task of Eyetex should be to make the brand relevant to the next generation. It is going to be expensive and in this case a celebrity endorsement will help the brand to a great extent.
Source: Divanee,indiatoday,

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Timex : What Next

Brand : Timex
Company: Timex India
Agency: JWT

Brand Count : 125

In the 30 Million units per year Indian watch industry, Timex is a brand is living its second life. Launched in 1992 as a joint venture between Titan and US based Timex, this brand was virtually dead during the early 2000. The company suffered huge losses and the brand was pushed to oblivion.

Timex is America's number one brand. in 2003, the brand celebrated the selling of a whopping 1 billion watches. With a history dating as early as 1857,the brand is known for its technological excellence. Experts say that in US, Timex is to watches what Microsoft is to Computers.

In India, Timex is a different story all together. Launched as a mass market brand, Timex was in rough terrain from the start itself. In the previous blogs, I have mentioned brands which failed because of Premium pricing. Here Timex suffered because it sold cheap during the initial years. Although Indian consumers are value conscious, low price = low quality is the attitude that still pervades. It is not the price but the VALUE that matters to Indian consumers.The initial mass market focus diluted the international image and brand equity of Timex. So when Timex and Titan parted ways, Timex was having zero brand equity.

Timex was the master of innovation. In 1992 Timex brought the INDIGLO feature in watches . Indiglo is the worlds first electroluminescent watch which gives a beautiful green light at the press of a button. Now 70% of Timex watches have indiglo feature as a standard. Besides Indiglo, Timex along with Microsoft launched the Datalink feature that allowed downloads to the watch from a PC. Timex Ironman is the world's largest selling sports watch.
Timex brand is known for its style , multifunctionality and durability. The watch is technologically superior than any other watch brand. Timex is used by the Who is Who of Celebrities from Bill Clinton to Bill Gates, Terminator to George Bush, Brett Lee to Harsha Bhogle. Even with these brand qualities, Timex is still no where compared to Titan in India. That is because the brand owners failed to position the brand properly. In the initial years, the focus was the volume which diluted the brand and then came the lack of positioning of the brand.

Timex have the age old positioning of " Technology that keeps you ticking". In India, the brand has changed the tagline frequently. At one point of time, the tagline was " Time on your side" . Now the brand comes with the tagline " What next". Constant changes in the positioning statement will inevitably confuse the customer. Globally the brand has the USP of a innovation leader . Technology first was the brand motto. Along with this the brand is perceived to be stylish and durable. But sadly in India, Timex failed to communicate its core brand values to the consumer.
2003 saw a rejuvenation in Timex. The company restructured and a new marketing team was in place. The brand was repositioned as a premium watch and the sub 1500 range was done away with. The brand then concentrated on its core values. Timex have the range of watches like, Matrix, Expedition series, Brett Lee collection, Big Bold and Beautiful collection etc.

But even during that time also the promotions were not upto the mark. For example there was a range of Watches with a feature of Perpectual calender that does not need any adjustment. Timex spent lot of money on this feature but did not highlight the brand value. When Citizen positioned its Ecodrive, the watch was given more prominence not the feature. For the perpetual range the tagline was changed to " Time on your side". Timex also gave importance to the retail push by opening lot of Shop within Shop outlets named Club Timex.

Timex is running a new commercial for the Expedition range which looks good. But for that range the tagline is " What next". I am now pretty confused about the real intended positioning of Timex. May be the company wants to say to customer that Time moves so does Timex. In my humble opinion, Timex should align the brand with its global positioning. Timex globally has the tagline of " Be There Now". Since the Indian consumer is aligned to global consumer characteristics, Timex will benefit by having a global positioning since watches are considered now as a fashion accessory.
Source : Businessline,, agencyfaqs,

Monday, September 11, 2006

Cadbury's Gems: Nonstop Excitement

Brand : Gems
Company: Cadbury's
Agency: O&M
Brand Count : 124

Cadbury's Gems is one of a kind product and brand. Unrivalled in all these years, Gems hold a special position in the consumer's mind. The brand which came to India in 1968 is still going strong.
Gems is still popular not because of its ads but because of the heritage or should I say nostalgia?
I still remember the excitement I had ( when I was a kid) when my father slowly pushed the Gems through the pack and we used to guess the color of the button that is going to come out. The same excitement I could see in my daughter's face now after almost 20 years. I still buy Gems for my kid not because of the ads but because it is a brand I grow up with. ( sorry for being emotional).
Although 38 years old, Gems managed to stay relevant. A lot can be attributable to lack of competition and the unique taste that the product has. I will say that the brand is still relevant because those consumers of yesteryear's are now the parents and inevitably, Gems will figure in their favorite list of chocolates.

In the recent past I have seldom seen an ad of Gems. A major change in the Product Mix came in the early nineties when Gems reworked on its pricing and packaging strategy. It made a clever move by inventing new price points at Rs 5 making the brand more affordable. In the recent past, Gems pack is available for even Rs 2.
2006 saw the first variant of Gems in the form of Fruity flavours branded as Gems Jungli. The chocolate core has been changed to fruit flavours which is a major change in terms of the brand. Gems is known for its chocolate core with sugar coatings. With this variant, Gems is in a way moving away from its core .
Jungli has given the brand something to speak about. Now lot of promos have started aiming at the target audience ( kids). The ads are OK but not upto the creative standards of O&M. I bought one for my kid but the excessive coloring is a dampener. The color of the sugar coating seems to be too much and caused alarm as to how healthy the color is. The classic Gems do not have that much coloring or the color don't seem to be unhealthy.
I don't remember the old ads of Gems but looking at some of the blogs like , the ads seem to position the brand along excitement. Even during the 80's there was Gems Bond a mascot for the brand. The old ads also talked about creating pictures using Gems. Those campaigns have put this brand firmly on the kids mind that is still making impact.Now Gems has been promoted using events and contests .
Gems have a problem at hand. How to make this brand relevant to today's kids. With lot of action in the confectionery market with lot of brands, Gems cannot rely on the old brand equity. May be the Jungli launch was to make the brand more visible in the segment now but are we not forgetting the classic Gems ?
Although positioned on excitement, right now Gems do not have a solid positioning. I agree that it is one of a kind and there has been imitations that have failed but success should not lead to marketing myopia.
Gems has to consolidate and nurture its core brand to be relevant to the much more dynamic and highly evasive consumer of today. Gems has to make sure that the excitement is nonstop.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Harpic : Ready For The Challenge?

Brand : Harpic
Company: Reckitt Benckiser
Agency: Euro RSCG

Brand count : 123

Harpic is the market leader in the small category of toilet cleaner segment in India. With a commanding market share of 80%, Harpic is a brand that withstood or escaped unhurt the lazy marketing efforts from its owners.

Harpic is a European brand that came to India way back in 1950s. Toilet cleaning market is traditionally dominated by the unbranded Phenols and when considering phenols, the market is worth Rs 500 crore. But the branded toilet cleaner market is minuscule estimated to be around Rs 50 crore.
Harpic unlike other Reckitt brands were given some marketing support from the brand owners. The brand had changed with times and had some careful innovation with regard to the packaging. During 1990's the product came out with a unique nozzle which ensured better reach. Harpic also introduced a Flushomatic variant in line with the changing preference of consumers towards European closets and Flushes. Harpic also initiated a co branding initiative with Parryware to get into consumer mindset early even when he is completing his house.

These efforts together with the lack of competition enabled Harpic command a major share in the segment. But of late the segment is witnessing competion. The major competition is from Sanifresh from Balsara. The challenge of Harpic is to get into the households that are using the cheap Phenol products. The venture of Reckitt with a phenol product bombed in the market.
Harpic is positioned along its triple benefit Stain removing, freshness and germfree. The ads which are criticised for lack of creativity speaks about the Harpic challenge. Celebrity like Aman varma entering a house and cleaning the toilet was rated as the most distasteful ads. But my personal opinion is that the ad conveys the core message. It is a no nonsense ad and is targetted towards the households using phenols and not the educated sophisticated users.
The innovative flushmatic variant was well received in the market But personally I find it difficult to open the flush and place it. Some flushes need screw drivers to open it. But it was a innovative effort that has to be appreciated.
Harpic is a brand that has been trying to break the segment barrier. It is still considered the urban product. In a lighter sense : with millions of toilets around, the potential is immense. I am not sure whether small sachets for single use will work for toilet cleaners ?

May be to break the price barrier, Harpic may have to think out of closet.

Source: India today, agencyfaqs, economictimes,magindia

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Quaker Oats : Tough Task Ahead

Brand : Quaker Oats
Company: Frito Lay ( Pepsi co)
Brand Count : 122
Quaker Oats is the latest entry into the tough market of branded breakfast foods. Indian Branded Breakfast market is worth around Rs 300 crore. In volume terms it is 140000 tonnes. Oats market is worth around 4000 tonnes.
After the Kellogg's foray in to the breakfast market in 1990, Quaker is the only high profile product launch in this segment. Kellogg's grew the market from 1000MT to around 3000MT through heavy spent in advertising. Now Kellogg's is ruling the breakfast market but yet to break even.
Quaker's launch is significant because it comes from the Pepsi stable. With the marketing muscle and deep pocket, Will Pepsi be able to displace Idli from the Indian consumer's breakfast table ?
All through this decade, Kellogg's has been trying to do that: changing Indian consumer' s breakfast habit. With high decibel promotion targeted at adults and kids alike, Kellogg's was able to make a mark in the Crispy Cornflakes category with excellent brand recall and shelf space. But the breakfast habit still remains the same.
Quaker started testing the Indian market in 2005 and in 2006 the brand was launched across India. Quaker is a brand that has a heritage of over 125 years and is world leader in the Oat meal segment.
The Indian breakfast market assumes significance because of the growing " Health Consciousness" among the Indian middle class. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it accounts for 1/3 rd of all nutrient need of a person. Although Indian consumers were not bothered about the nutritional content of their foods, increasingly a trend is visible in Indian consumers becoming more aware about their nutritional needs.
Taking a lesson from Kellogg's, Quaker has launched their products at a reasonable price range even introducing trial packs for Rs 8. The idea is to induce the consumer to try the product and then make it a habit. The 400gm pack with a price of Rs 70 and 200gm for Rs 35 seems attractive compared to other brands. As a sales promotion campaign, Quaker is selling its 200gm for Rs 25.
All these promotions may cause the existing Oats takers to Quaker but how about our man who takes Idli , Dosa ?. That is a million dollar question.
Quaker is launched with a positioning based on Nutrition , Taste and Easy To Cook. The ads says that it takes only 3 minutes to cook ( same as Maggi) But as in the case of Maggi, that proposition will not work with Indian consumers. Nutrition is an important factor and regarding the taste, Quaker has cleverly came out with Masala and cardamom flavours to appeal to Indian Palate.
The main question is should the marketer try to break the habit or circumvent it. Maggi effectively introduced Noodles in to Indian market by not breaking a habit but come around the habit by targetting kids. Kellogg's is still steadfast in breaking the habit for a decade now.
I can tell from my case that I will not prefer oats for a breakfast because of the perception that it is not filling ! I may eat it for nutritional purpose but may not substitute the breakfast. I have seen people who take oats at night after the dinner for health reasons. So taking a cue from my experience ( disclaimer: I can be wrong) Oats will have a better acceptance as a nutritional component in the Indian consumer's meal. Let Oats be a part of Idli and Sambhar for complete nutrition. Once you get to the table then the brand can easily command the Indian consumer's habit.There will be more takers if this food can be positioned as "any time nutrition" rather than as a breakfast cereal. As an aggressive marketer, Quaker is head on in competition with the traditional breakfast foods.
Since this market is small ,the direct competition is less for Quaker. Bagerry is the other brand in the Oats segment . Bagerry is an Indian company which is in the market for over a decade. They are not aggressive marketer and is more of a regional player.
It is going to be a tough and expensive war for Quakers.
Source : estrategicmarketing, economictimes,magindia,,agencyfaqs.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Ray-Ban : Change Your View

Brand : Ray-Ban
Company :Luxottica Group
Agency : Law & Kenneth

Brand Count : 121

Ray-Ban is one of the major brands in the Rs 1200 crore Indian Eye Care market.Ray-ban came to India in 1990's .At that time the brand was owned by Bosch & Lomb. In 1998-99 the brand was acquired by the Italian Major Luxottica group.

Ray-Ban originally was born in 1937. Over these years it has created a cult status worldwide. The brand also have a huge fan following in India. Ray-Ban was created as a brand for US Air force during 1937. The Aviator brand became an instant hit and the brand attained a huge cult status after the Movie Risky Business had Tom Cruise wearing the Wayfarer range. All these years, RayBan used movies to popularise the ranges of sunglasses.
The brand had tough times in India. During the late nineties the brand had quality problems. The brand also faced problems in the pricing also. The Shade range of RayBan priced below Rs 1000 eroded the premiumness of the brand.

After taking over the operations in India, Luxoticca group revamped the Indian operations.The brand was aligned to the global positioning and the company decided to have a single positioning worldwide.The quality level was raised. The brand also shed its segmentation based on price points. The low priced brands were removed and the minimum price point was fixed at rs 1500.

In India Ray-Ban had lot of interesting positioning statements. It had the famous tag line " My Ray-Ban and Me" which highlighted the individualism to the latest tag line " Change Your View".
The brand is now trying to consolidate its premium positioning while appealing to the youth.
Although the Indian eye wear market is worth 1000 crores, the organised sector is only worth Rs.400 crores .Sunglass market is worth only 80 crores. With premium brands like Gucci and Armani rules the super premium segment, the lower segment is ruled by unbranded cheap sunglasses. Ray-Ban is in the mid segment range . Titan has ventured into the sunglasses segment with its mass market range with its Fast Track brand extension.

With over 1200 models and an established brand image, Ray-Ban is ready to explore the rising lifestyle market in India. It is again surprising that no Indian brands is existing in this category ruled by Ray-Ban. The sunglass market is facing the culture issue rather than the competition. Unlike other accessories like watches, Indian consumers have a social stigma with the sunglasses. Eye care against sun rays are not popular concept with the Indian consumer . Still sunglasses are just a fashion accessory rather than a necessity. The tendency to use cheap glasses which is more harmful still remains a habbit with the Indian consumers. RayBan have to spent lot of money to keep sunglass as a priority purchase for Indian consumers.

Will Rayban can change the view is something to wait and watch

Source:, magindia,agencyfaqs, rayban website,ebay

Friday, September 01, 2006

Fair &Lovely Menz Active : Change Your Story

Brand : FAL Menz Active
Company: HLL
Agency: Lowe

Brand Count : 120

2006 saw the launch of Fair And Lovely’s brand extension Menz Active in the Indian market. Menz Active is HLL’s reply to the much hyped and much discussed launch of Fair And Handsome by Emami Limited.

In 2005 when Emami launched India’s first fairness cream for men, I thought it was a joke on the famous Fair and Lovely brand. Later I found out that it is a serious affair and a not bad idea at all. As I discussed before in one of my blogs, Indian fairness cream market is worth around Rs 1000 crores. But why fairness cream for men? Research suggests that 28 % of all fairness cream users are men. That makes sense for a serious brand in that segment isn’t it?

Fair and Handsome made noise in the market for two reasons First it was a shock Secondly the ads were lousy. Lousy and ridiculous: I must say. But it served the purpose. It became the talk of the town. This year’s launch of FAL Menz Active proves that Emami ‘s brand made business sense.

HLL is using its most famous brand to endorse the new brand. FAL is being used as an endorser to create a positive impression on the potential users. I foresee that once the volume is achieved, the FAL endorsement will go.

But in both these product, the execution of the message is some thing that is not FAIR.
It is true that men like to look good, fair and handsome. I feel that contrary to popular belief modern (or otherwise) men are not shy about trying to look good. It is a fact that marketers seldom looked into men’s shaving kit. Marketing myopia made them believe that it contained and will contain only shaving products. Hence no products for men and it became a self fulfilled prophecy.

Since there are no face creams for men, we started using products meant for ladies. My argument is that since men uses soap, shampoo, powder, deo, perfumes, moisturizers, shaving cream, hair gel, after-shave, paste etc, how can one think that he cannot and will not use face creams?

Now with the launch of Menz Active, this market for men’s face creams is going to witness lot of activity. But the sad part is that both these products failed to grasp the essence of men’s psychology. Men’s product cannot be marketed using lousy marketing campaigns. It had to be Macho (Pulsar) or emotional (Raymond) or Sexy (Axe). But a successful marketer like HLL has messed with Menz Active by putting it in the same league as Fair and Handsome.

It would have created more impact if Menz Active used subtle message to promote this product. Given a choice, men prefer a macho and sexy product. If Gillette extends it to face creams, Menz Active will have tough time. Competition is already in the form of Garnier. Menz Active is positioned along the same line as FAL when it was launched. Menz uses the Statement “ Change Your Story”. The ad features a stuntman succeeding to become the model after using the brand. It is a typical “Before & After” kind of stuff. Rather than the message of “ using and then becoming successful” “successful and using the product” appeals more to men.

This is a segment that is worth watching. Will Menz Active Change the story?

Source : agencyfaqs,businessline,bbc website,estrategicmarketing,